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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lots of things!

This will be a post about lots of little things..

Mac's All That Glitters AD JDX Excellent Agility State Final Winner

 Firstly, thoughts post-states. I was pretty sure I would pull the Red Dog out of trials until the end of the year, and I have done so. I was also unhappy with ALL my dogs running A-Frames, so have started (another) retrain. Shimmer has been trained purely Silvia Trkman. Her dog walk is nice, including most turns now. L turns are still hard for her, *much* harder than R, and I feel this is more than just lateralisation, it is probably her hips as well. But her DWs are pretty good and I was very happy with them at the states. Her AFs, though, were HIGH. ST's method is basically 'buy one, get one free'. If the manners minder is out in front, then her AFs are good, if not, then they are often high (in the contact but higher than I would like). I am not retraining her at this stage, her hips don't need the number of reps that would entail.
Ink's AF is also high, and her DWs aren't that great either. She has been trained with a mix of ST (initially), and then swapping to Dawn Weaver's mat method to hopefully build understanding. I actually wish I had just kept with ST's method, because I think all I achieved was to slow her DW down and make her anxious (admittedly not that hard to do!) So she is starting an AF retrain...and so is the Red Dog. Red Dog was entirely trained using the mat/foot targetting method (she only has a running AF) and I HATE it. She is a powerful, long striding dog, and all she really needs to do is put 2 decent strides on the AF and she will be fine. Once I put the mat on it, though, she would POWER up the AF then pretty much stop dead over the top, and creep down. Getting the contact, but slow and horrible, might as well have a stopped contact! Yuck! So the AF has gone back down and I am using pretty much the free shaping method for both youngsters. Also starting turns on low. Watch this space, will put some footage up soon.

Another little piece of news.. Ink has been coughing for about 6 months now, intermittently, probably about once a day. I have been sitting on her, and sitting on her, and last week I decided enough was enough, and I hauled her into work to take some chest rads. My suspicion was allergic lung disease (like Terra has, but presenting a bit differently as Terra doesn't cough). Sure enough, the rads showed a bronchial lung pattern with small white donughts clearly visible.

 I posted them for a second opinion and the radiologist agreed that allergic lung disease was a strong possibility. So she, also, will be started on a puffer with inhaled steroid, and we will see if that improves the problem.

Not a perfectly positioned VD but very hard when the dog is very skinny and awake!

The third 'little' thing is that last weekend Perth hosted Dave Munnings for a series of agility seminars, and I went to '110% building drive' 'Grids' and 'Advanced Handling'
I enjoyed the 110%, having a working spot with Ink, although I think an auditing spot would have been fine as there was very little work. I enjoyed what he had to say though. Grids was disappointing, as I did not realise it was all Susan Salo stuff, which I am already very familiar with. Red Dog's first jump early take off problem came out, and Dave suggested more set point work.. not convinced it will work as I have already tried and couldn't get her into the spyder. But, I will try again. I really enjoyed the advanced handling on Sunday however. I was going to work Shimmer with Terra as my backup dog, but I decided to bring the Red Dog and work her and Shim. Shim worked well, and I used her for the blind cross section as I don't want to do these with Red Dog yet.
Photo thanks to Kerry

I used her for the rest of the seminar, and apart from tearing a dew claw from diving on her toy at a million miles an hour, I was RAPT with the way she worked. She was one of the youngest dogs there and worked like a much older dog with great focus and speed, and, when I cued her correctly, great turns. I just love LOVE working my Red girl and really enjoyed Dave's positivity and great rapport with each dog and handler team. It is a pity he doesn't live here, I think he would be a great teacher to have ongoing lessons with. Really good fun!

Photo thanks to Kerry

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